Toshiba has ruled out playing any part in the construction of the £10bn Moorside nuclear plant.
The Japanese firm – which currently owns a 60 per cent stake in Moorside developer NuGen – said that while it would continue to be involved in the development of the Cumbrian plant, it would not be willing to take on any construction risk.
The company last night said it would remain involved in the project at development stage but would look to offload its stake as it moved towards construction.
Korean nuclear firm Kepco has been widely mooted as a potential buyer of Toshiba’s stake in the project.
Toshiba now plans to overhaul its nuclear business and re-evaluate its role on projects in which it is currently involved outside of Japan.
As part of the changes it will “exclude risk inherent in nuclear construction” from any current or future ventures and instead focus on equipment supply and engineering.
Toshiba said it would remain involved in nuclear fuel services, which it described as highly profitable.
NuGen said it welcomed Toshiba’s commitment to development stage of the project and said it was currently looking for investment partners to help fund its construction.
The Moorside project would be one of the largest nuclear developments in Europe.
Plans comprise three AP1000 reactors developed by Toshiba-subsidiary Westinghouse, producing up to 3.8 GW of capacity – more than 7 per cent of the UK’s energy needs.
During peak construction, the scheme would employ more than 6,500 construction workers, with up to 21,000 jobs expected to be created throughout the plant’s lifetime.